False Humility

by exfundy

If you had asked me when I was a practicing fundy I would have told you I was humble. Though isn't being self assured of your own humility somehow rather ironic? Anyway, I really thought I was humble. I couldn't have been more wrong. The Americanized version of Christianity is actually a very selfish thing interlaced with lots of intellectually dishonest humility.

Perhaps the most glaring example of my previous selfish beliefs and theology is what I call the "It's All Good Theory (IAGT)." That's just a name I made up for it that I wouldn't expect anyone else to make sense of yet. I guess that means I should explain. So let me throw out a hypothetical though very possible situation to illustrate IAGT. For this illustration try to get back into that Christian mindset. See if you can figure out where I'm going before you read it.

Imagine you just bought a brand new home. It's big. Everything inside and outside is top of the line. It has more rooms than you could possibly use. There are enough bathrooms that every person in the house has their very own, and they even all have jacuzzi tubs. There is a 3 car garage. You got the home at a bargain price. How do you explain your good fortune? As ex-Christians here I'm confident you know the answer to this one.

Christians are in a no lose situation. When good things happen to them it's because they are good Christians. When bad things happen to them it's because they are good Christians. God blessed you with it. It had everything to do with God. It wasn't you. That's the Christian answer right. You would never say it was because you worked hard and saved enough money to buy the house. God did it for you. At first glance that appears humble. After all you said it had nothing to do with you, right? It's a straw man argument though. In reality it had everything to do with you. Scratching your head? When you were a Christian what type of recognition did you want? You wanted to be recognized as a 'Good Christian'.

In other words claiming it was a blessing of God and you had nothing to do with it isn't showing humility. It's an expected and required part of Christian culture to say that. Christians aren't looking for recognition as a good person. They are looking for recognition as a good Christian. So to take a christians self deprecating words as an example of humility is to focus completely on the wrong thing. However let's look at the underlying implication of saying God blessed you with this big house. It says we were good enough. We were deserving enough. We attended the right amount of Sunday morning services. We gave enough money and time. We were worthy of this blessing from God. We made him happy. Even other Christians tell us our new house is a wonderful blessing from God. We received exactly the recognition we wanted to receive. It was still about us.

Aha! Now we see it. There's the not so humble reality behind the whole situation. This is where we massage our Christian ego. We were good enough. We deserved it. God was happy with us. Looking back it kinda makes me wonder though. What about all those Christians in third world countries that live in dirty disease infested villages often without the most basic of essentials? They must be some horribly bad christians because they continue to live in squalor day after day. God never blesses them with nice new homes.

Let's look at the flip side of this scenario. You lose your job just a few weeks after getting your new home. A few months after that the bank forecloses on your big new home. Your family is forced to go find a small apartment.

So if we use the same logic we have been using would it not be safe to assume at this point that we have really pissed god off in some way? If we got the house because he was happy with us doesn't it stand to reason that we lost it because he no longer was? Of course I think all of us ex-Christians know that logic and reason have very little to do with the way we thought and believed when we were practicing our former faith. In Christian ideology we are not going through this hard time because we angered God. Oh no, it's quite the contrary. We pissed off Satan. We were being such a great Christian that we scared the hell out of Satan (pun intended). So, losing our house was an attack from Satan because he was fearful we were about to do something mighty for god.

We refuse to look at the fact that we were late to work several times. We missed several deadlines at work which cost our company lots of money. It was probably Satan that caused those late days and missed deadlines.

Talk about having the best of both worlds. Christians are in a no lose situation. When good things happen to them it's because they are good Christians. When bad things happen to them it's because they are good Christians.

It's embarrassing to realize I was once that selfish and arrogant. Anyway, there it is. The idea that no matter what happens to Christians, they always claims it is because they aren't just Christians, but because they are really good Christians. They can always feel good about themselves. They can always stroke their egos telling themselves what great Christians they are. That's the 'It's All Good Theory.' A theory full of selfish pride that is a hidden by a very thin layer of false humility.

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